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Will Microsoft's new service pack reinvigorate Vista sales on the eve of Windows 7?

Microsoft is preparing new service packs for Windows Vista and its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008.  The pair of service packs, according to sources, will likely land before the release of Windows 7 which is set to debut in late 2009 or early 2010.  Microsoft confirmed that the project was in the works, with a Vista spokesman saying, "Microsoft is working on a second Windows Vista service pack (Windows Vista SP2) and will share more details in the coming months."

Windows Vista already saw the release of its first service pack in May of this year.  The first release was marred by compatibility difficulties, which forced Microsoft to take it offline for a short time.  Amid slower than-hoped-for adoption growth, Microsoft launched a reinvigorated push to convince people to adopt Windows Vista, highlighted by its "I'm a PC" commercials.

Reports indicate that Microsoft is hard at work preparing the second generation service packs, to help further this new campaign.  It has reportedly delivered a beta of the Vista pack to select hardware and software partners.  This is similar to its current distribution method for early builds of Windows 7.  Microsoft also posted a placeholder article for Vista SP2 on its Knowledge Base site.

Details on the new packs are scarce, but sources with Microsoft say that the biggest deliverable for the Server version will be the integration of Hyper-V bits with it.  Sources also say the reason Microsoft is pushing to release the pack before Windows 7 is to limit confusion about whether to upgrade to Windows 7 or choose the newly more functional Vista.

The service pack for Windows Server 2008 will also reportedly be called SP2, despite it being the first service pack for the OS.  This because Windows Server 2008 was built on Vista with the SP1 service pack included.  Still, the first real service pack for the server OS will be an essential boost as many corporate partners are hesitant to buy an OS without service packs.

Microsoft is remaining tight-lipped about the server SP2 as well, except to acknowledge that its coming soon.  A Microsoft spokesperson stated, "[The] comment [on Vista] serves for Windows Server as well; Microsoft is not commenting further on the timing/release plans for the WS08 SP2 at this time, but will share more details in the coming months."

The Beta 1 releases for the two SP2s are expected within the next couple months.  This will put some pressure on Microsoft's developer team to quickly complete the service pack, as the Windows 7 Beta 1 is slated for mid-December release.

It is rumored that Microsoft may be including some aspects of Windows 7's functionality into Vista via the new service packs.

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RE: Limit confusion?
By omnicronx on 10/17/2008 11:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry man I'm with you, I mean how can you take anyone seriously when they use the word 'bloat'. Dubed down PC magazine term for 'I don't know what I am talking about'.
I mean what exactly are you expecting, a new OS, that runs on the same hardware as the day XP was released?

An OS should push the limits of hardware, and thats what the underlying features of Vista allowed. Complete reworking of windows API's, a controlled driver system, and improved performance at the cost of higher hardware requiredments.

As for the name, Windows 7 has just plain caught on, sure it is technically 6.1, but everyone now knows what Windows 7 is, Microsofts next OS, no need for their billion dollar marketing crew to come up with a name like 'Zune'.

I for one am looking forward to Windows 7, drivers will be a non issue (same driver architechture as Vista) and hopefully they will have optimized superfetch and indexing to limit what you guys like to call 'bloat'.

RE: Limit confusion?
By mindless1 on 10/18/2008 1:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Vista should be able to run on the same hardware as XP did when released. Bloat. No OS should ever "push the limits of the hardware", that is ridiculous. The OS is not the desired end of a PC, it is the means to run applications.

RE: Limit confusion?
By just4U on 10/18/2008 1:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
When XP was released most of the world was using 128Meg of ram.. a few die-hards out there had 512 while others were just getting ready to move to 256meg.

RE: Limit confusion?
By Cypherdude1 on 10/18/2008 2:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's just not true. When XP arrived in 2001, 256MB sticks were already inexpensive. In fact, in 2001 my old Win98SE system already had 512MB (2*256).
When XP was released most of the world was using 128Meg of ram.. a few die-hards out there had 512 while others were just getting ready to move to 256meg.

RE: Limit confusion?
By QueBert on 10/18/2008 4:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
That's just you, I'm a tech and in 2001 the majority of people still had 128 megs, price doesn't matter when a lot of people simply don't upgrade. Hell, I was working on a box eairler this week, an Athlon 2.8, not new but not stone age. It had 256 megs with on board video. Mind you this was a PC that was bought MUCH more recently than 2001. Hell I worked on 2 Vista box's last month that had 512 megs, these were new from the store not self upgraded XP boxes. The lady who has the 256 meg box wouldn't add more memory unless I recommended it. She has no idea what memory does and why she needs it. She is far more typical than you or I, who understand the need the memory and upgrade ours.

RE: Limit confusion?
By omnicronx on 10/19/2008 12:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry buddy, but you are the one that is wrong here. The VAST majority of users still had 64-128 Megs of ram when XP was released.

Just go look at PC hardware reviews from the time.
They are benchmarking new hardware with 256M and 128M DDR memory, and this would have been considered high end.

I personally upgraded many of my friends computers, unless they had just bought a new computer, they did not have 256M of ram.

I actually remember buying my XP 1800 with 256Megs of ram, and I thought I was super cool.
Notice once again that they are using 256M of ram for new reviews.

RE: Limit confusion?
By mindless1 on 10/19/2008 12:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
What you mean is the majority of users of OLDER computers not yet running XP had 64-128MB. Your first link already goes against your claim since they list several 256MB modules and only one 128MB module.

Back then any sane system buyer would buy at least half the capacity each memory slot could accept which was at least 256MB. Back then that meant 8 SDRAM chips on one side of the module PCB. That has always been typical with SDRAM PC DIMMs.

Lastly, you overlook one of the reasons they didn't use more memory, because if the OS and app fit within that memory space, it could slow down a system to put more modules in because the system read SPD timings to determine chipset parameters including things you often didn't even have manual control over.

RE: Limit confusion?
By just4U on 10/25/2008 4:24:51 AM , Rating: 2
Bottom line was during XP's launch new computers were coming with 256meg's of ram. That's why I said a few die-hards had jumped to 512 but they were not the norm. After XP had been out for a bit 512meg became the sweet spot for windows xp .. later that sweet spot went to 1Gig and finally 2Gig.


Overall with Vista 64 I've found that a default install runs fine with 2G. However, it really likes 4Gig and you do notice the improvements. Moving to 8G .. mmm not so much, atleast not for me. I wouldn't want to run it on 1Gig but hell I don't even want to run XP with that amount anymore either.

RE: Limit confusion?
By mindless1 on 10/19/2008 2:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, Vista should run on 128MB. I do think it reasonable that 256MB or even 512MB offers more performance (and so it did on XP), but the kind of crazy bloat we see now, when XP does in fact do what the majority of people need to do on a PC, is quite excessive.

Bottom line - YOU should be in control of what is running on your PC, how much memory is taken up by the OS, NOT MS. If you really really like feature XYZ, by all means you should run it. If you don't, you shouldn't have to.

RE: Limit confusion?
By omnicronx on 10/19/2008 12:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Vista should run on 128MB.
Bahahahahahahhaha Windows 2000 required at least 64M of ram, and that was the bear minimum, do you really think a new OS when no PC is shipped with less than 512 M minimum in the past 4 years should be able to perform on a 128M machine.

Bottom line, nobody should ever listen to what you have to say, you once again used the word bloat even though you cant explain to me what 'bloat' is, and you think Vista should run on 128M of ram.

Hey why not go as far as say XP/Vista should run on 32 megs of ram, I mean I used to run 95 off only 32 smoothly, why not XP. Hey DOS worked fine, why even use windows, I mean it runs all my programs in nice fancy 320x240 resolution, who needs anything else?

RE: Limit confusion?
By omnicronx on 10/19/2008 11:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
Are you a moron? Every OS ever released that was not specifically designed to have low hardware requirements was designed to be used with better hardware. This includes Unix, Linux, OSX and Windows.

And when I said push the limits I meant if needs be, Windows Vista with all features activated can push the limits of your hardware, but nobody is saying you have to use all these features. Thats what Vista business and home editions are for, obviously you should not be using Aero on a PC from 2002 with an integrated Intel video card.

I just have to ask, how do you think progress is achieved? Please tell me how an operating system can get better without taking advantage of extra power. Each OS has a lifecycle, if you do not realize this then you have never met any developer, and in that case you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

RE: Limit confusion?
By mindless1 on 10/19/2008 12:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're stuck on the idea that it's progress, that it's getting better. Fixing what is broken is progress. Making the OS be more and more of a specialized environment one has to manipulate just to do the same work as always is a step backwards.

You're saying nobody has to use features but in fact the OS is slower without them and still consumes more memory so it's like saying "Drive around with bricks in your trunk and just don't use them if you don't want to. Oh, you had another use for your trunk, too bad because I think bricks in your trunk is progress."

RE: Limit confusion?
By poohbear on 10/20/2008 10:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
lol u're really preaching to the wrong people by going to a computer enthusiast site and telling them that we shouldnt progress hardware or software much, that all we need is 10 year old hardware and be happy w/ that.

we all get off on progress and seeing advances in technology, not stagnation.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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